Continuing our discussion of “best place to work” environments, let’s explore the next two dimensions of successful workplaces, as identified by the Gallup Organization. (If you missed my last blog on this topic, where I discuss Dimension #1, view it here).
Dimension #2: “I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.”
When your staff members come to work each day, do they have what they need to be productive and successful? “Materials and equipment” may mean something different to an employee than it does to you. Ask your staff members if they have what they need. They may answer yes, or they might say:
- Yes, I have a computer, but it’s slow.
- Yes, I have a computer, but I’d be much more efficient with dual monitors.
- Yes, I have a phone, but I wish I had a headset so my neck didn’t cramp.”
- Yes, we have a copy machine, but it gets paper jams every week.
- Yes, I have office supplies, but I wish I didn’t have to bring in my own sticky notes.”
- I wish we had a subscription to the Wall Street Journal.
- I wish I had a subscription to XYZ research package.
Your business strategy, revenue and cash flow will dictate what you’ll be able to—or want to—spend on overhead. Naturally, you wouldn’t make investments in materials and equipment you feel are unwarranted, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask what could make your team more productive.
Dimension #3: “At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.”
Making the right hire in the first place has a lot to do with whether or not an employee agrees with this statement. For instance, did you present an accurate job description so that the applicant knew what to expect from the position?
Of course, even the most carefully selected employee may grow disenchanted with his or her position for any number of reasons. Although you may hesitate to open a can of worms by broaching the subject, it’s helpful to identify any disconnect between the employee and the position early on.
- Have things changed so much since the employee took the position that he or she is no longer a good fit?
- Do you and the employee disagree on what he or she does best every day? For example, what if the employee thinks she’s really great at investment research and you think she’s best at completing paperwork correctly, or vice versa?
- Has the employee simply changed his or her mind or tired of the position?
Even in a negative scenario, it’s beneficial to know how the employee feels and give yourself the opportunity to resolve a budding problem. On the other hand, it may be a nonissue because the employee’s true passion is his or her family, a hobby, or something outside of work. If what I do best is play the guitar, so what if that doesn’t happen at work! Most advisers find it enlightening to have this conversation with employees.
Coming Up …
In my next blog post, we’ll look at two more dimensions of exceptional workplaces:
- “There is someone at work who encourages my development.”
- “My associates are committed to doing quality work.”
Managing Principal of Practice Management
Commonwealth Financial Network